Are you new to canning? Freezer jam is an easy way to preserve seasonal fruit for first-time jammers.
Rather than sealing jam-filled jars in a hot water bath, you simply pre-boil the mixture in a pot, put it in jars and then store in the freezer. Freezer jam won't keep as long, but if you make it tasty, it shouldn't be a problem!
1 lb grapes : 1 cup sugar : 2 teaspoons lemon juice
Note: grape skins contain enough pectin to set the jam
Small, clean containers or jars
Large stock pots
Optional: Immersion blender (if you have seedy grapes)
1. Divide grapes evenly between two stock pots, and purée with immersion blender.
2. Divide lemon and sugar evenly between both stock pots, and stir together with grape purée.
3. Boil over moderate heat, stirring frequently and skimming foam until pulp is broken down, about 20 minutes.
4. If there are solids left in the mixture, pass jam through a conical strainer set over a large bowl. Discard remaining solids. Return jam to pots. Skip this step if the mixture is smooth.
5. Continue cooking at a slow boil, skimming foam occasionally and stirring frequently as mixture thickens to prevent scorching, 35 minutes, then test for doneness.
6. To test jam, remove from heat, then drop a teaspoonful on a chilled plate and chill 1 minute. Tilt plate: Jam should remain in a mound and not run. If jam runs, continue cooking at a slow boil, testing every 5 minutes, until done, up to 25 minutes more.
7. Pour jam into large bowls, and place bowls in bus bins partly filled with cold water (to help cool the boiling jam). Carefully ladle jam into clean jars, using canning funnels to prevent spillage.
8. Allow to sit in fridge for at least one day before eating, giving time for jam to set and flavours to develop.
9. Storage: Pour jam in small containers, keep one in the fridge (or as many as you'll eat in a month), and the rest in the freezer. Jam stays in freezer up to 1 year, and 3-4 weeks in fridge.
Use seasonal local fruit from your backyard, neighbours, farmers market etc. We used concord grapes from the Vancouver Fruit Tree Project
Eat your delicious grape jam with crepes, pancakes, fruit salad, granola & yogurt, on top of any dessert.
Jam jars also make fantastic gifts!
Discard if you notice a fermented smell or mold -- for other preservation tips, visit the National Center for Home Food Preservation